Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

I found a recipe for pulled pork on and modified it a bit. It came out really well. We had this for dinner last night.

  • 5 lbs pork butt or shoulder
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 and 1/4 cup ginger ale
  • 1/2 bottle of liquid smoke
  • 18 oz of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • Slice one of the onions and place in crock pot.  Put the pork in the crock pot on top of the onion.
  • Slice the other onion and place it on top of the pork.  Pour in the ginger ale and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on LOW for about 9 hours.
  • Remove the meat, strain and save the onions. Discard all of the liquid. Using two forks, shred the meat, discarding any remaining fat or bones.
  • Place the shredded meat back in the crock pot and stir in the barbecue sauce. Cook on HIGH for 30-40 minutes.
  • Serve buns or rolls.
We had a lot of leftover meat, so I'm using some of them for dinner tomorrow. We are going to have build-your-own-burritos with it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Day at Yezelalem Minch

This post is a little overdue, but I wanted to share a few more pictures of our trip to Ethiopia.  Our last day there, we visited a ministry called Yezelalem Minch. (YM) It is an organization that facilitates child sponsorships, provides job skill training for widows and helps families with nutritional support.  On Saturdays, they have a feeding program where children and adults who are part of their ministry can receive a free, wholesome meal. Before the meal was served, James and I had some gifts to deliver to a couple of kids that are sponsored by friends of ours.

The meal is served by widows, and this is an source of income for them. They are paid by YM to prepare and serve the food.

The kids loved attention and wanted us to play with them.

I had some candy that I had brought to pass out to the kids. They all lined up after their meal for candy. This was about like starting a riot. The adults who were supervising the chaos had little sticks that they used to keep the kids in line.
All the kids wanted to see their photo after we took it. This was fun.  One perk of digital photography!
This is a wonderful organization that is changing the lives of the children and adults in it's care.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Better Pizza

Several days ago, our local news featured a pizzeria called A Better Pizza. It is close to our house, so we decided to check it out.  The main thing they advertise is their stuffed Chicago style pizza, so that is what we ordered.  The pizza was great, but that is about the only positive thing that I have to say about the experience.

A slice of our stuffed pizza
 The first thing that put me off was the owner's wife sitting at a table trying to peddle her jewelry.  It was one of those things that you host a party at your house and the consultant has displays of jewelry that the guests can order.  After you sat down at your table, she'd walk to you and give you one of her business cards and talk about the jewelry for a minute. These kind of things can be fun, but if my husband owned a restaurant I'd be in there working with him, instead of bothering his customers with a jewelry purchase. There was very little seating inside, and she was taking up one of the largest tables. Her skills could have perhaps been put to better use in trying to decorate the place and help manage the restaurant. The only decorations that were there were posters from the vendor that supplies their cheese.

I was not impressed with the service. I realize that it takes time to make a pizza from scratch, so that is not what I had a problem with. When we got our stuffed pizza, the waitress did not bring anything to our table for us to serve it with.  I asked for a spatula or something, and she said that they don't have serving utensils, and that we would need to scoop the slices up with our forks.  Now realize that this pizza is easily an inch thick, and we were told to scoop it up with our forks. Humph. We only ate half of the pizza while we were there, and we wanted a box for the left overs. They don't seem to carry boxes that are deep enough for their stuffed pizzas. The lid would not shut all the way.

All of the employees at this place need to have a lesson in appropriate work-place attire. The teenage girl who was taking orders was wearing house shoes. The owner came to the front counter to chat with the customers, and he was wearing a ratty old t-shirt that was better suited for yard work or painting.

A Better Pizza is definitely not the kind of place you want to go on a date night.  If you want to try their pizza, I recommend ordering take out or delivery. One pizzeria here that we really enjoy that is date-night worthy is Pi. The atmosphere is nice, but not fancy. They do believe in using serving utensils. There are a lot of drinks on the menu, beers, organic teas, soda, coffee, etc. Their pizza is a little different from what you'd get in Chicago, the main difference being with their crust. Pi uses a corn meal dough to make their crusts, and I really like it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

How we spent our weekend

Well we didn't have a fun weekend, but it was very productive. I've been wanting to replace the carpet on our second floor since we moved into this house three years ago.  We are finally able to do it.  I had to work two days last week, so I spent my three days "off" working at home, pulling up the old base boards and painting the new ones. I was happy to go back to work. Sometimes the work that I find for myself to do at home is more physically exhausting than the work that I get paid to do.

That is the mess that was left. The installers will be removing that today.

We are going through Lowe's to have the new carpet installed, and it is going in as I type.  I was not expecting that it could be put in this quickly.  James and I had two days to get the furniture moved, the carpet and pad removed and all the staples pulled out of the floor. We had to pull carpet out of three bedrooms, our walk-in closet, a hallway, and the the stairway. I was so sore last night, I had a hard time sleeping.

 The new carpet is much darker than the old carpet. The old carpet was almost white.  While we were pulling it out, we found a few pieces of what we suppose was the original carpet. It was pink. Our new carpet is a "green" carpet. It is EverStrand Carpet from Mohawk. It is made out of recycled plastic bottles.

I'm really thankful for all the hard work James put into removing the old carpet. He enjoys having leisure time on the weekends, and this weekend did not offer him much of that!